He Xiaopeng purchased 2,200,000 ADSs of on the open market on September 23 at an average price of $13.58 per ADS.

XPeng Motors chairman and CEO He Xiaopeng has increased his stake in the electric vehicle maker as the company's shares continue to fall this year and a newly launched flagship SUV fails to inspire optimism.

Simplicity Holding, which is wholly owned by Mr. He, purchased a total of 2,200,000 American Depositary Shares (ADSs) in XPeng on the open market on September 23 at an average price of $13.58 per ADS, according to an announcement by XPeng on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange today.

This means that the XPeng CEO spent about $30 million to buy additional shares of XPeng.

Following the move, Mr. He holds 327,708,257 Class B ordinary shares and 2,200,000 ADSs in XPeng through Simplicity Holding and 21,000,000 Class B ordinary shares in XPeng through Respect Holding Limited, representing in aggregate about 20.5 percent of the total issued share capital of XPeng.

The board of directors of XPeng believes that the acquisition demonstrates Mr. He's confidence in the prospects and growth potential of the company and his long-term commitment to the company, the announcement said.

XPeng has significantly lagged its peers in the stock market this year as no new models are available and the appeal of existing models appears to have slipped in China's competitive electric vehicle market.

XPeng's shares traded in the US have been down about 73 percent so far this year. As a comparison, was down 44 percent this year and was down 22 percent.

XPeng unveiled its flagship SUV, the G9, at the Guangzhou auto show at the end of November last year, but it was only officially launched on September 21, with first deliveries not starting until the end of October.

XPeng officially launches G9: Starts at around $44,000, deliveries to start at end of October-CnEVPost

The G9's launch appears to have failed to inspire optimism among investors, with its confusing configuration instead sparking a flood of complaints from potential consumers.

On the day of the G9's official launch, XPeng's shares traded in the US fell 11.55 percent on September 21, though its local counterpart NIO also fell 10.34 percent the same day and Li Auto dropped 8.84 percent.

Two days after the model's official launch, XPeng adjusted the naming of all the G9 versions as well as their configurations, a rarity in the Chinese EV industry.

Deliveries of XPeng's current models have shown signs of weakness over the past few months.

XPeng delivered 9,578 vehicles in August, down 17 percent from 11,524 units in July.

Since April, XPeng deliveries have been around 10,000 units, except for June, when deliveries exceeded 15,000 units.

XPeng delivers 9,578 vehicles in Aug, down 17% from July-CnEVPost

At the end of July, XPeng offered consumers purchase discounts, although the official selling prices of the vehicles were not adjusted.

As XPeng's production capacity increased significantly, orders did not grow rapidly in tandem, putting pressure on sales for the company, previous reports in local media said.

XPeng announced on August 10 that the G9 was available for consumer pre-orders ahead of its official launch, and later said the model had received 22,819 pre-orders in 24 hours.

XPeng has yet to update the order information since the SUV's official launch.

However, the company seems confident in the G9's performance, with Mr. He saying at the model's launch that XPeng believes the G9 will outsell the Audi Q5 and reach 10,000 units per month next year.

The Audi Q5L sold 12,500 units in China in August, with cumulative sales of 89,685 units in the first eight months, according to PC Auto.

XPeng adjusts G9 naming and configuration after consumer confusion